Great Barrier Reef Travel Guide


The often-endangered Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most stunning natural wonders. It remains the largest living thing that can be seen from space. Travel to the Great Barrier Reef for amazing sea adventures and ocean sights to delight any animal or adventure enthusiast. It’s teeming with sea life such as whales, turtles, and vibrant hues of more that 400 species of fish and coral.

Cairns is the closest gateway for Great Barrier Reef travel. There are also many islands scattered off the Queensland Coast that offer day trips or overnight stays. The area is a snorkeler's paradise, and a mecca for marine biologists. T+L’s guide gives you the outline you need for Great Barrier Reef travel.

Things Not to Miss at the Great Barrier Reef

• Clownfish and purple anthias flock like birds around the delicate, lace-like sea fans, species of butterfly fish, surgeon fish, parrot fish and trigger fish in the waters of Great Barrier Reef
 • An aerial view of the sand bar at Cairns
 • Islands in the Great Barrier Reef waters
 • The reef islands on a pontoon or catamaran
 • Underwater life from a glass bottom boat
 • Great Tropical Drive
 • Hill Inlet at Arlie Beach
 • Hartley Crocodile adventures at Palm Cove
 • Esplanade Boardwalk at Cairns
 • Kuranda, the Village in the Rainforest

When to Go to the Great Barrier Reef

The best time to travel to the Great Barrier Reef is from June to November. The weather is mild and visibility is generally good. Avoid Great Barrier Reef travel from December to March as it northern Queensland’s wet season. It has oppressive heat and torrential rainfall. The rain hampers visibility.

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